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Robin Robinson - Citizen Columnist

Gardening in place on your patio

Return to yesteryear’s pleasures: A patio, back porch or yard garden is a glorious celebration of belief in the future. These plants will bloom and fruit totally under your control and carry no hidden danger. On my patio now is a sprouting onion. I will harvest the green growth so[…]

Environmental solution in the ‘ECOncrete’ mix

Two award-winning marine biologists, Ido Sella and Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, working for the company ECOncrete, have redesigned concrete to more closely resemble the irregular surfaces of nature. The new patented design is both beautiful and great for the environment. Concrete is the most ubiquitous material in the marine environment, second only[…]

Save the canopy by battling termites

It is spring and this is termite season. Termites are not inherently evil. They serve a purpose in our ecology by turning wood into reusable soil. But when they invade a home’s wood, they suddenly emerge as vile monsters. It is important for homeowners to become the eyes in the[…]

Never underestimate ‘can do’ initiatives

If we really want to help trees grow, we might gather around the tree in a magic circle and breathe carbon dioxide toward its leaves. The tree will return the favor by showering the circle with oxygen. “We breathe in, we breathe out.” Our government may be loosening the controls[…]

The Key West Citizen

Live like a queen under leafy bowers of wreath vine

Imagine reclining languorously on a chaise lounge while reading in your verdant yard filled with pollinator-attracting plants (not grass) underneath a canopy of blue sky and pale blue petrea (Petrea volubilis) blossoms. One blossom drifts lazily to land on the open page of poetry. The book is then closed, sealing[…]

The magic of mushrooms

Dr. Bill Irwin, mushroom expert at The College of the Florida Keys, and his wife, AIicia, saw a need for marketing exotic mushrooms such as lion’s head or turkey tail. They hope to market these unusual, but edible, mushrooms to gourmet restaurants. Most mushrooms that the consumer buys are not[…]

South Street garden of Phyllis Rose

The gardens at 1225 South St. in Key West were created in 1996, when Phyllis Rose and her husband, Laurent, purchased the property. There was very little landscaping here at that time, except for the few remaining large, old trees, which had probably been planted when the house was built[…]

Glorious garden tours offering poetic variety

The Key West Garden Club’s annual spring garden tours highlight an individual owner’s choices and are governed by the homes they surround. The garden surrounding 1028 Flagler Ave. are noted for their palms. Dottie Balenrine and Fritz Coker inherited some of the plethora of palms when they purchased the home,[…]

Invasive plants sure are world travelers

Horticulturally famous Janice Duquesnel spoke to the Key West Garden Club recently about the details contained in the state’s Invasive Plant List. A plant is considered invasive when it has traveled here with the help of a human. For instance, mahogany trees were planted in Key West by workers during[…]